Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:
Lawrence, Charles William. (2010). "New Neighbors In Old Neighborhoods: Explaining the Role of Heritage Conservation in Sociocultural Sustainability and Gentrification." (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


Cities are struggling with their deteriorated urban neighborhoods. When reinvestment is promoted and new residents move in to these neighborhoods, some older residents are displaced by rising costs of living. This process is called gentrification. Critics have implicated heritage conservation as a cause of gentrification, stating that conservation programs select an exclusionary historicism separate from an authentic lower-class reality. However, in many cases heritage conservation tools are applied by individuals, communities, not-for-profits, and governments to anchor residents to their neighborhood in the face of gentrification. Several case studies are analyzed to determine how different neighborhoods have experienced gentrification and how they have used heritage conservation to combat and mitigate displacement, rising housing costs, and loss of character.


Historic Preservation; Heritage Conservation; Sociocultural Sustainability; Gentrification



Date Posted: 10 August 2010